Strategy to learn synonyms?

I am using Anki to improve my vocabulary in a second language I’m at the C2 level. This often means that I already know 1 or 2 synonyms to the word I am practising. Initially, when the intervals are short, I remember that it isn’t any of the words I already know but when the interval reaches several months, and there are plenty of words, I forget this. So when such a card appears in my native language I can immediately recall two synonyms that are correct and am satisfied with that but when I then show the card, my two answers are “wrong”.

Often I would have recalled the new synonym if I just had spent some time thinking but since I immediately recall two correct words when I see the card I am happy with that.

What is a good strategy to remind yourself that this card is not about words A and B, but C, despite them all being synonyms?

Don’t do recall cards at your level. If you really are at the level you claim to be then do you want to prompt yourself using your native language? I mean when I speak English I am not really recalling the word charlatan by thinking my native word. What I am askieg you is that do you think it is really useful to learn to recall L2 word by doing that? Just use recognition cards.

But another case I can think of is when you keep forgetting a particular word, well for those too recognition cards are pretty much enough but you can go one step further and create recall cards but with “context”. For instance the sentence you found the word in. I never forget those even when I’m doing recognition card. (still remember the one card of mine having “combination of pachyderm and human”

Edit: I found the website I once read that talked about how learning Kanji a particular way is a bad idea. It’s relevant in your topic as it explains why you might not want to practise “recall” of an information using another bit of information. Their language was good so I will link it to you. Animecard’s

You can add some extra text to the prompt so you know which synonym is being asked for. But in later stages of learning, you may find it doesn’t scale well, which is mentioned briefly on Can I link cards together? - Frequently Asked Questions

I use the method Damien suggests for learning Portuguese. I append some ‘hints’ as an additional text after the word I have to translate.


Native word: bird
Translations (synonyms): pássaro, ave

Note 1:
the bird (not ‘p’) - a ave

Note 2:
bird (not ‘a’) - pássaro

With this method it is possible to add some extra information, too. E. g:

Note 2:
bird (not ‘a’, smaller bird) - pássaro